Romans 1

Romans 1: The Power of the Gospel unto the Salvation of God’s Children

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ and called as an Apostle and being separated unto the Gospel of God; writes to the Romans. Paul testifies of Jesus Christ, being the Son of God and that through the faith on His name [Jesus Christ] the Saints can overcome. Paul explains that he is in debt with not only God, but the Greeks, Barbarians and the Romans themselves. Paul explains that he is “…not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Paul explains his desires to come to Rome. He exhorts the Saints in Rome to live their lives by Faith. He reminds them to not boast in their abilities, for their fathers of old; “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22) They became fools, by changing the glory of God. They turned the simple truths of God into something more corrupt, like men. Because of this corruption, God sent sufferings to all men who despised His name.

Paul warns of those who change the natural order of the role of men and women (homosexuality). He warns of those who participate in “…all unrighteousness, fornication [Sex outside of Marriage], wickedness, covetousness [eagerness to possess something, not belonging to yourself], maliciousness [the need to see others suffer]… envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity [wishing evil to others]; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…” (Romans 1:29-30)

Matthew 6

Matthew 6:

The Sermon on the Mount: Part 2 

                Jesus opens this chapter by addressing his disciples on the importance of keeping your alms [righteous acts] out of the viewpoints of others. Jesus tells them to not do as “…the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of men…” (Matthew 6:2) Jesus explains that they righteous acts should be done in private or secret, so as to not desire praise of men, but rather of God.

Jesus continues by stating that prayer should be done in secret as well, you should not draw attention to yourself when you are praying; “…thou shalt not be as the hypocrite are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets… when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

Jesus expounds on prayer and tells us that we should not use “…vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking…” (Matthew 6:7)

In the end, Jesus reminds us that “…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) So with prayer, we should not make it a public thing, at least not to gain praise of man. We need to keep prayer as sacred as possible, avoiding repetitions. Why do we do this? Because prayer is not about reciting, and it is not about memorization. Prayer is about COMMUNICATION! We pray to our Heavenly Father to have a CONVERSATION with him. Therefore we need to speak to Him just as we would with an earthly parent. Tell Him how your day went, tell Him about your struggles, and tell Him about your desires and wishes. Then listen, ponder, and study the scriptures to receive your answer.

Jesus speaks much about prayer in this chapter of Matthew, but HOW SHOULD WE PRAY?

Jesus gives us some instruction on how to pray, here are the steps that He has given us:

1.       Start your prayer by addressing our Heavenly Father. “…Our Father which art in haven, Hallowed by thy name.” (Matthew 6:9)

*Remember God does not like vain repetitions, therefore do not memorize the prayer Jesus gave, but use it as a guide for a prayer in your own words.

2.       Thank Him for everything; “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

3.        Ask Him for the things that you need; “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)

4.       Ask Him for the ability to forgive others that they might forgive you also; “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

5.       Ask Him for help to avoid temptation and sin; “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” (Matthew 6:13)

6.        End your prayer in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ “…Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

                         *Note that because Jesus was saying the prayer, to His Father, Jesus did not end in His own name. However, because Jesus died for our sins we need to end the prayer in Jesus’s name.

Besides prayer, Jesus also gives us some commandments when it comes to Fasting. Fasting is a period where your body abstains from water and food for a period of time. This helps your soul to have control over your earthly tabernacle, your body. This helps to control spirit over mind, and giving the spirit control over earthy desires of the flesh. Jesus warns us to not be “…as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast…” (Matthew 6:16) Again, fasting and prayer should not be done to gain recognition from men.

Jesus speaks out about earthly and heavenly treasures. We should not focus on material things, but rather the things that we can take back with us into heaven. Greed and the desire for fame can change people and cause them to lose focus on what matters most. Jesus exclaims; “No man can serve to masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other….” (Matthew 6:24), essentially if we love money and material things, then we cannot serve God or love His gospel.

                “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Jesus ends this chapter by yet again reminding us to first seek “…the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Numbers 1-2

Numbers 1-2

Chapter 1: Each Tribe is Numbered

The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had departed from Israel. There, the Lord instructs that the members of each tribe, all males from the age of 20 up, should gather together. The total gathering together was 603,550 men. These men would be prepared for war. The only tribe not included in these numbers, is the tribe of Levi. The Levites are commanded to watch over and protect the tabernacle and its testimony from all outsiders and strangers.

  • Tribe of Reuben: Elizur son of Shedeur
  • Tribe of Simeon: Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
  • Tribe of Judah: Nashon son of Amminadab
  • Tribe of Issachar: Nethaneel the son of Zuar
  • Tribe of Zebulun: Eliab the son of Helon
  • Tribe of Joseph:
    • of Ephraim: Elishama the son of Amihud
    • of Manasseh: Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur
  • Tribe of Benjamin: Abidan son of Gideon
  • Tribe of Dan: Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai
  • Tribe of Asher: Pagiel son of Ocran
  • Tribe of Gad: Eliasaph son of Deuel
  • Tribe of Naphtali: Ahira son of Enan

Chapter 2: Order and Leaders are established

The Lord speaks again to Moses and Aaron, commanding them to have every man and his children (in the tribes of Israel) to place an Ensign (flag of standard and truth) to fly above their camp.

  • On the east side, the camp of Judah is to pitch their tents on the east side toward the rising sun far off from the tabernacle. Nahshon the son of Amminadab is appointed the captain over the children of Judah.
    • The camp of Issachar; Nathaneel the son of Zuar is appointed captain over the children of Issachar.
    • The camp of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon is appointed captain over the children of Zebulun.
  • On the south side shall be the camp of Reuben; the captain of the children of Reuben is appointed to Elizur the son of Shedeur.
    • Pitching tents alongside the camp of Reuben, is the tribe of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai is appointed captain of the children of Simeon.
    • The camp of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Reuel is appointed captain over the children of Gad.
  • On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud is appointed captain over the children of Ephraim.
    • Next to the tribe of Ephraim shall reside the tribe of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur is appointed captain of the tribe of Manasseh.
    • The camp of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni is appointed captain over the children of Benjamin.
  • On the north side; shall encamp the tribe of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai is appointed captain over the children of Dan.
  • Next to the children of Dan, resides the tribe of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran is appointed captain over the children of Asher.
  • The tribe of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan is appointed captain over the children of Naphtali.

The total number of these camps were 63,550 these numbers excluding the tribe of Levi. Each tribe set a standard over their camps and harkened unto the commandments of the Lord.